Saturday, 25 February 2012

GO AWAY!

Aren't pushy people on the phone just the pits?
Was rung up last week by odious little man who demanded money from us for an invoice supposedly confirmed, by phone, a month or so before. The invoice was for an advert, with money going towards a charity. We had already done one advert in the summer, and were SO not up for yet another one. I explained to him, very nicely, that we were a tiny little pre-school, and not really up for forking out another £600 when we needed every penny for the children. I was sure that he understood, blah, blah,blah.
He didn't.
At all.
He started to get rather unpleasant, and told me that there was a 'recording of the confirmation', and invited me to listen to it.
Which I did.
And could hear myself, (cor, I didn't 'alf sound posh and all) saying Yes to this, and Yes to that, and then explaining that I would be delighted to give the money but not now... and then being talked over by the voice at the other end, before the phone call abruptly ended, and I was left with a £600 bill.
But...!
But...!!
And all of this happening because I am polite to a pushy, aggressive sales person last October.
Believe me, it's hard enough telling these people to naff off when sitting quietly at one's desk, surrounded by paper work and Stuff. But to be surrounded by 20 small children, at our pre-school, one holding my hand, the other needing their nose wiped, it becomes almost impossible to give one's full attention to a full spate of sales technique at the other end of the phone. I kind of zoned out when the pushy sales lady (who rang right in the middle of a morning session at our pre-school) went on and on about how kind we were, and what she wanted, and how she was going to go about doing things for us. But I put the phone down knowing that I hadn't committed to anything. Phew!
Only to get another phone call some time later saying that they were so delighted that I would like another advert (costing £600) and how would I like to pay.
Stutter!
What?!
I was totally taken aback by their engineering of the conversation to make it sound like I HAD confirmed.
The very dull end to this very dull tale is that I am now in the process of trying to prove that I did NOT commit to yet another advert in some poxy publication and that we will NOT be paying out £600 for an advert we don't want.
It is taking up hours of my time, and I am getting more and more annoyed as each phone call, email, letter goes on.
I now have Trading Standards on the case, plus the Federation of Small Businesses.
Feels like bullying. It really does.
Cross your fingers for me, folks.

12 comments:

Kathy G said...

When salespeople call I'm always polite (having done a bit of phone soliciting myself, I know what it's like), but if they've not wrapped up their spiel in 15 seconds I interrupt them, tell them I'm not interested, and hang up. I think you're being taken advantage of. Good luck!

Expat mum said...

I now have the perfect phrase ready for all phone solicitations - "Sorry, it's not a good time at the moment.'" Most people just leave it at that, although one guy last week kept suggesting miniscule amounts that I could donate, and I just kept saying "Sorry,".
Hope you win!

Marianne said...

You just have to be rude. Unsolicited sales calls are just that, particularly if they interrupt your life.
My 86 year old mother was recently doorstepped and she gave her prepared answer 'my daughter handles all my affairs. this is her phone number'. The call I got was 'your mother would like to take up our wonderful offer but asked me to confirm the details with you'!!

Irene said...

You were bullied and are going to have to be much ruder next time. Please don't be polite. Those sales people aren't. Cut them off at the earliest opportunity and hang up the phone.

London City Mum said...

LWM

A word of advice: next time they call (because they will, and if not them, then some other outfit), hand the phone over to one of the youngest children in the school and let them deal with it.
Works wonders, promise. And they will not call back.

As for this lot, you might want to have a friendly solicitor draft up a letter warning them that you have reported them to the Office of Fair Trading for misrepresentation and misappropriation of funds, with a subtle reminder about the fines that other (larger) entities have been recently subjected to for similar incidents.

Ultimately if you don't pay, what are they going to do? Arrest you? Idiots.

LCM x

Expat mum said...

Have to agree with LCM. We have caller ID, which also shows up on our TV - (Brill). If it's a number I don't revognise I get the 8 year old to answer. He can waffle on for England!

Ladybird World Mother said...

Kathy G - I know, I am always polite too, because I know how they feel at the other end, but there are the other sort, who don't give a damn!
EM - I now don't talk to ANYONE who rings, just put down the phone. Not going there again...
Marianne - I cant believe that they changed what your mother had said... so blatant. Hang on, I DO believe that they did that... they kind of said the same to me...
Irene - totally agree, politeness is abused with these people. I won't be rude, but will put the phone DOWN!
LCM - thanks, hon... I will use that nice juicy phrase in my letter... I am NOT going to be bullied any more. I have found out that I am not alone in this, that there are many other people in the same boat, with the same company. They are SO going to regret ringing me in the first place. xxx
EM- children prepared for talking!! xx

Ladybird World Mother said...

Kathy G - I know, I am always polite too, because I know how they feel at the other end, but there are the other sort, who don't give a damn!
EM - I now don't talk to ANYONE who rings, just put down the phone. Not going there again...
Marianne - I cant believe that they changed what your mother had said... so blatant. Hang on, I DO believe that they did that... they kind of said the same to me...
Irene - totally agree, politeness is abused with these people. I won't be rude, but will put the phone DOWN!
LCM - thanks, hon... I will use that nice juicy phrase in my letter... I am NOT going to be bullied any more. I have found out that I am not alone in this, that there are many other people in the same boat, with the same company. They are SO going to regret ringing me in the first place. xxx
EM- children prepared for talking!! xx

grumpyoldwoman said...

We have had this happen at work too. They have lots of sneaky tricks like telling you your birthdate to prove you booked it. Trust me, you didnt. They manipulate both you and the recording. Stick to your guns. Next they will tell you that you approved the artwork too! B******* I now shout NOT INTERESTED and hang up!

Boliath said...

I worked for a company that did this, I only lasted half a day because it was so deceptive and made me ill.

They go through charity books and ring people confirming an ad relying on the embarrassement factor that folks like you will have, you don't remember signing up for the ad but you feel uncomfortable so you agree, the m.o. was to up the ad, so if I was looking at an 1/8 page ad in some other charity book that you had placed I would confirm a 1/4 page ad with you now - horrible horrible work and it shocked me, I was v young and working as a temp, I lasted the morning, felt so horrible I went for lunch and didn't go back.

Sir Bruin said...

I'm rooting for you! Stick it to the bastards.

Catharine Withenay said...

Yikes!
(Now to read your follow-up post)